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Paleobotanical Section

Garcia Massini, Juan Leandro [1].

Fungi from the Permian of Antarctica.

Fossil fungi from silicified peat of Late Permian age from Skaar Ridge in the central Transantarctic Mountains in Antarctica are described. Chytridiomycetes include several stages of the life cycle of morphologically diverse and widespread holocarpic, monocentric, and inoperculate endoparasites occurring in various hosts from the Permian ecosystem. Based on thallus morphology and development similarities with Synchytriaceae (Chytridiales), particularly Synchytrium, are suggested. Zygomycetes are represented by clusters of variously shaped terminal and intercalary chlamydospores with an ornamented complex wall structure and with hyphae associated in diverse patterns. These characteristics together with the chlamydospores occurring in clusters within silicified plant remains, possibly Vertebraria roots, suggest affinities with endomycorrhizal fungi (Glomales), particularly Glomus. The fragile nature and the simple morphology of fungal structures have limited the study and documentation of fungi in the fossil record. Notwithstanding, as increasing amounts of data on the biology, distribution, and identity of fossil fungi becomes accessible, a better understanding of the history of the complex biological interactions and processes of fungi with other biological entities in ancient environments is possible.


1 - University of Kansas, Dept. Ecol. & Evol. Biol. and Natural History Museum, 1200 Sunnyside Ave., Lawrence, Kansas, 66045-7534, USA

Keywords:
Permian
Antarctica
Chytridiomycota
Zygomycota.

Presentation Type: Paper
Session: 42-6
Location: Maybird (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Wednesday, August 4th, 2004
Time: 9:30 AM
Abstract ID:516


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